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Eliud Kipchoge unveils Kenyan-flag inspired shoes for London Marathon2 minutes read

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Reigning Olympic marathon champion and marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge has unveiled the footwear he will use for this Sunday’s London Marathon.

The Kenyan legend will wear the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% for the 2020 elite-only, the same shoes he wore for the Ineos-1:59 Challenge in Vienna last October, when he became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours. However, this version has red and green markings, inspired by the Kenyan flag. The shoes also feature the runner’s initials and 1:59:40 – the time he ran in Vienna.

“The shoes for Sunday’s competition. Inspired by colors of the Kenyan flag, representing (the) great people of this beautiful country and to celebrate one year anniversary of the achievement 1:59:40 in marathon distance by EK,” Kipchoge said.

“I was really involved in the making of the Alphafly Next%. My work was to test the shoe, to test how it feels, to compare the new sole to the old one, to feel how it responds when I’m running and give all my feedback to the technicians.”

When Kipchoge wore the shoe for the Ineos 1:59 Challenge, there were calls for it to be banned from competition following accusations that it had multiple carbon plates. But earlier in the year, Kipchoge brushed off any criticism that the shoes give him any unfair advantage.

“It is my legs that are still doing the running,” he said. “Innovations are part of sport and always have been. With running, the effect of technology will always be minimal especially if you compare it to other sports. Train hard and be disciplined. Be the best you can be and believe in yourself.”

In January, World Athletics announced that from April 30 of this year, any shoe used in competition must have been available for purchase on the retail market for four months, in effect banning the use of prototypes in competition. The new regulations also stated a shoe must not have a stack height of more than 40mm, a restriction the Alphafly complies with.

Speaking in February, Nike said, “We are pleased the Nike Zoom Vaporfly series and Nike Zoom Alphafly NEXT% remain legal. We will continue our dialogue with World Athletics and the industry on standards for performance footwear that meets the needs of elite and everyday athletes.”

The London Marathon edition of Kipchoge’s Alphafly shoes remains largely unchanged – they feature a full-length carbon plate, Zoom X cushioning and the two Nike Zoom Air Pods, which have been added to the forefoot for responsive cushioning and propulsion.

Kipchoge will be taking on, among others, Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, five-time world champion on the track, and the reigning 10,000m world record holder.

Just two weeks before Kipchoge’s historic sub two-hour marathon in Vienna, Bekele won the Berlin Marathon in 2:01:41, two seconds outside his rival’s world record set at the same race 12 months previously.

East Africa Sports News

Tusker FC Sign Former Gor Mahia Defender Ochieng

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Tusker FC sign former Gor Mahia defender Ochieng

Kenya Premier League side Tusker FC have confirmed the signing of former Gor Mahia defender Wellington Ochieng.

Tusker FC have been strengthening for the new season as they look to challenge for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League title.

“Ochieng’ is now our player, he signed with us yesterday [Thursday],” Tusker FC chairman Daniel Aduda said.

“He is an experienced player who will give us much-needed experience at the back. Ochieng’ is also versatile and I believe he will be a valuable asset to the team.”

A couple of weeks ago Ochieng was released by his club alongside Edwin Lavatsa.

The defender is the third player signed by Tusker FC in the transfer window. They started by getting experienced centre-back Eugene Asike to extend his stay at the club by one year. Goalkeeper Robert Mboya also extended his stay at the club by another season as well.

Christopher Oruchum was the first signing for the former champions from the 13-time champions AFC Leopards.

“One of the things that motivated me to sign for Tusker is that Tusker is one of the biggest clubs in Kenya whereby we stand a chance to be exposed to big teams in Africa and outside the country,” the defender said after completing the move.

“Having joined a team that was high-flying the previous season, I hope and pray that I will also add something and also help the team to achieve more than they achieved last season.

“There was a time I was really close to signing for Tusker when I was at Thika United but the deal did not materialize then I ended up going to AFC Leopards, then from there I have the chance again of joining this great club, which I have longed to play for.”

Tusker FC last won the league trophy four years ago.

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East Africa Sports News

Harambee Stars defender Mandela joins Sundowns

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Brian Mandela joins Sundowns

Harambee Stars of Kenya defender Brian Mandela Onyango has joined South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions Mamelodi Sundowns.

Mandela was confirmed as a Sundwons player after signing a three-year deal with the Brazilians. Sundowns also have an option to extend the deal after the initial term expires.

“Brian Onyango has joined Mamelodi Sundowns on a three-year deal with a two-year option to extend,” Mamelodi confirmed on their official website.

“The centre-back comes with a wealth of international and local experience as he has played for Santos, the Team of Choice, and his national side. Onyango first moved to South Africa in 2012 to join the now ABC Motsepe based Santos.

“The Kenyan International joins Masandawana as a free agent, he last turned out for Maritzburg United.

“Welcome to Masandawana Brian Onyango.”

Mandela started his career with Posta Rangers in 2010, a year later, he made the move to 11-time Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions Tusker FC where he played for two years, before his move to South Africa.

Mandela’s first club in South Africa was Santos, where he made 48 appearances, and scored three goals in three seasons.

He then made a move to Maritzburg United where he made 77 appearances. His contract with Maritzburg expired in 2019, and has been a free agent since then.

Mandela will be part of the Mamelodi Sundowns team for the new 2020/2021 season. The defending champions are currently second on the PSL table with four points from two games played so far this season.

The defender was part of the Harambee Stars side that beat Zambia 2-1 in an international friendly match played at the Nyayo Stadium. Mandela started at the center of the defense, but was later substituted for Wazito FC defender Johnstone Omurwa.

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East Africa Sports News

Uganda Coach McKinstry Names Home-Based Squad For AFCON Qualifier

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Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry

The Cranes of Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry has named home-based stars for their upcoming AFCON 2021 qualifier. He put out a list of 22 home-based stars from which five or six of the players will be considered to be with the main squad of 20 foreign based players he named last week.

McKinstry stated that the home-based team will go through rigorous training and assessment between 2nd and 8th of November, before he makes his final selection.

“As previously announced in addition to the squad of 20 foreign based players for the upcoming double header against South Sudan in the A, we would be looking to adding 5 or 6 Uganda Premier League players to the mix so that they can compete for places in the squad.” Uganda Coach Johnathan McKinstry stated.

“In order to give the local based players the best support, we will be running an advance camp between 2nd and 8th November. In addition to that, we shall be able to have some early arrivals of foreign based players to join this camp in Kampala.”

“The camp will also help the local based players to push their levels higher and hopefully get some minutes on the field against South Sudan.” McKinstry concluded.

Uganda will face South Sudan on November 12 at St Mary’s Stadium, Kitende before playing themselves again 4 days later in Nairobi.

Home-based Squad

Goalkeepers: Alionzi Nafian (URA FC), Lukwago Charles (KCCA FC), Mutakubwa Joel (Kyetume FC).

Defenders: Ndahiro Derrick (Sc Villa), Galiwango Disan (Vipers SC), Willa Paul (Vipers SC), Mandela Ashraf (URA), Iguma Denis (KCCA FC), Kato Samuel (KCCA FC), Juuko Murushid (Express FC), Lwaliwa Halid (Vipers SC), Mbowa Patrick (URA FC).

Midfielders: Mawejje Tony (Police FC), Kyeyune Saidi (URA FC), Kagimu Shafiq (URA FC), Watambala Kairm (Vipers SC), Owori David (Sc Villa), Anukani Bright (KCCA FC).

Forwards: Oriti Ibrahim (Vipers Sc), Karisa Milton (Vipers SC), Mukwala Stephen (URA FC), Ahebwa Brian (KCCA FC).

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